16th January 2008

Am I the only one who doesn’t get the MacBook Air?

posted by Eric C. in Uncategorized |

I don’t get it… Why does anyone need a laptop that’s the regular 13.3″ notebook’s footprint but “0.16″ at its thinnest point, 0.76″ at its thickest point”? And to get this (non)feature you have to pay big ($1,799 base price) and sacrifice insanely. I mean come on, it has ONE USB2.0 port! Yes, you read that right… The optional max CPU is a 1.8GHz, the standard one is only 1.6GHz. They put 2GB of RAM in the system but the memory is soldered on, so if it goes bad you’re screwed. It has Wifi 802.11n (draft) but does NOT have an ethernet jack. If you need one you could always use the ONLY USB2.0 port to get one. It doesn’t have any optical drive, you’ll have to go external USB2.0 drive for that. Did I mention their is only one? It has a “micro-DVI” port, so if you want to use that feature you’ll have to carry around an adapter to regular DVI. For a hard drive you have the unenviable choice between an 80GB 1.8″ 4200RPM drive that can be nothing but very slow or a very expensive but fast (at some things) 64GB Solid State hard drive. The piece de resistance is that the battery isn’t user replaceable. Batteries will go bad, their’s no way around it and Apple laptops are by far the biggest pain to take apart, and I’m sure an Apple laptop made to be super slim isn’t going to be a cake walk to get apart.

The last thing is ALL the pictures I’ve seen of the MacBook Air shows it with the screen straight up at a right angle with the base. For example the pics on DailyTech and Slate, though Anandtech has a pic that shows it at an angle past 90 degrees, but it appears to be a computer rendering and not an actual picture. Well, I don’t know about you but I sure don’t use a laptop like that. I tilt the screen farther than 90 degrees until I can see it well and their’s no glare or reflection on the screen. The potential problem with the MacBook Air is if the base doesn’t have enough weight to keep the laptop from tilting and falling onto the top of the LCD screen because of the weight of having a full normal size screen tilted past 90 degrees. If this does turn out to be an issue, I here by copyright iLegs as a device to keep the laptop from falling towards the screen when you tilt the screen back. They do show it at a slight angle past 90 degrees in the MacBook Air Guided Tour but it’s still unknown if their’s a threshold at which point it will topple over or not. This potential issue plus how rounded the bottom is, can you even use it on your lap or one leg without it sliding off or flipping towards the screen and cascading to the ground?

Ok, so lets review, you can get a notebook that is 0.76″ thick but you have to bring along with you an external optical drive, a USB2.0 Ethernet adapter, a USB2.0 hub so you can use more than one USB2.0 device at a time and a mini-DVI to DVI adapter. Having to carry even part of that with you greatly negates the supposed appeal of having such a thin notebook. Plus you can’t carry an extra battery. Going on a long plane ride and want to have extra battery? Tough. Once your battery dies you can slide it into your bag and stare in wonderment at the extra half inch you saved in thickness only for the rest of the trip. Plus the whole potentially tipping over thing and not being able to use it on one leg/your lap.

Unless you’re one of the 10 people that exclusively uses a laptop to go to the internet through WiFi only and needs it to be very small and portable I don’t get it. Plus, if that’s all you do with a laptop, why wouldn’t an Eee PC fit the bill, it has Firefox and WiFi.  If you use the laptop as more than just an Internet Applieance then why is having a normal laptop that’s only marginally thicker such a drag that you’re willing to buy basically half a laptop for $1799?

There are currently 2 responses to “Am I the only one who doesn’t get the MacBook Air?”

Have an opinion or comment? Share it here!

  1. 1 On January 28th, 2008, Doomzilla said:

    Did you read that the external optical drive can’t be used with any other computers? The Macbook Air’s USB port is specially made to output extra amperage to power the drive.

  2. 2 On January 28th, 2008, Eric Chevallier said:

    haha, crazy.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.